EPA awards nearly $1.5M to Salt Lake City for property cleanup and assessment

SALT LAKE CITY – Two Brownfields grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be given to partners in the Salt Lake City area to assess, clean up, and rehabilitate sites.

Salt Lake County will spend a $1 million award for assessment and cleanup projects in Magna Township, while the Salt Lake City Corporation will use $495,200 in Brownfields funds to clean up the former Schovaers Electronics site.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program offers funds and technical help to municipalities, states, tribes, and others to assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse contaminated properties. Sites contaminated by the incorrect treatment or disposal of wastes and toxic and hazardous chemicals are examples of contaminated lands.

“Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County continue to deliver high-value property cleanup and redevelopment projects with EPA Brownfields grants,” said KC Becker, EPA regional administrator. “We look forward to seeing these funds transform blighted sites into new community assets.”

With the help of the EPA funding, the Salt Lake City Corporation will clean up the 0.34-acre former Schovaers Electronics site at 22 South Jeremy Street. The location, which is contaminated with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds, was originally utilized as an electrical supply firm, an electroplating plant, and a repair shop for appliances. Trichloroethene and hexavalent chromium are two specific pollutants of concern that are likely present in soil and groundwater as a result of seepage from the facility and off-site sources.

The site will be able to add trail-oriented commercial space as a result of the remediation. The Jordan River Parkway route, which is 45 miles long, will eventually be connected to downtown Salt Lake City by the multipurpose, paved trail.

“This EPA grant signifies a major step in Salt Lake City’s efforts to revitalize this westside corridor,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “By tapping into the federal Brownfields program, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City has greatly boosted its ability to activate the pedestrian-oriented Folsom Trail while addressing the community health and environmental impacts of this land’s long history of heavy industrial activity and proximity to major transportation corridors.”

Additionally, the EPA has chosen Salt Lake County to serve as the project manager for a $1 million Brownfields Assessment Coalition award, financed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to create environmental assessments and remediation plans at more than 20 high-priority sites in Magna Township.

The Guadalupe neighborhood, the Poplar Grove crossroads, the Main Street Corridor, as well as old auto repair shops, a former dry cleaner, an abandoned business structure, and other unoccupied sites, will be the focus of these initiatives. Asbestos, lead, metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, and dry-cleaning solvents are among the contaminants of concern. These properties could be used for affordable housing, retail, and business purposes.

“Salt Lake County is making good on its commitment to clean up our environment and we are grateful for the EPA’s support,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “These funds will allow us to assess contamination and clear the path for meaningful redevelopment – making the county safer and healthier for all residents.”

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